SMACNA is endorsing the House and Senate versions of The National Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act of 2023. The legislation is designed to grow and expand Apprenticeship Hubs. These entities help employers develop, design, and deliver registered apprenticeship programs. The House version (HR 2900) is sponsored by Rep. Don Norcross (D-NJ) and co-sponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), both of whom are longtime champions of registered apprenticeships. Meanwhile, the Senate version of the bill (S. 249) is sponsored by apprenticeship advocate Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and co-sponsored by Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
In SMACNA’s letter to the House of Representatives and the Senate, Stan Kolbe, SMACNA’s Executive Director for Government and Political Affairs, discussed how SMACNA was providing its highest level of endorsement to the legislation, stating how these actions were necessary for the industry to build the highly skilled workforce required to respond to an ever-growing list of projects, including those in the federal, energy, and manufacturing sectors. Kolbe also outlined the value of Apprenticeship Hubs and how the infrastructure provides a structure to provide apprentices with the mentorship needed during their education, and employers have a forum to build an effective curriculum.
In a statement, Congressman Norcross outlined the necessity for the bill, stating that “ it is critical that we continue to invest in workforce development programs like apprenticeships, strengthen protections for the workplace, and improve the standard of living and accessibility of benefits for all working families.”